RENTAL Very Bad Things (18) 96 mins

Not so much a whodunnrt7 as a howaretheygonnagetouttathrs7, where Jon Favreau and pals go on a stag weekend to forget Part slapstrck, part toe-curlrng comedy of errors and murders, the stag boys ~ rncludrng Chrrstran Slater as guasr-psycho Boyd ~ are unluckrer than a man run over by a lorryload of rabbrts' feet, constantly on the brrnk of catastrophe Desprte the men's dubrous Justrfrcatrons of therr actrons, the temptatron to dollop on the moralrstrc syrup rs resrsted, re5ultrng rn a blackly twrsted and satrsfyrng endrng rnstead lUnrversalr (MR)

Pleasantville (12) 120 mins

Can you rmagrne a world wrthout rarn, hate, vrolence, parn or passron7 The reSIdents of Pleasantvrlle, USA -- the archetypal smalltown Apple Pre centre »— have Such an exrstence, untrl two late 20th century teens (Tobey Magurre and Reese Wrtherspoom are zapped back rn trme and alter Pleasantvrlle’s take on lrfe. As new rdeas are brought to the townsfolk, therr lrterally black and whrte lrves are rnfused wrth colour rn sequences whrch can't farl to remrnd the watcher of br'rck roads, wrcked wrtches and houses caught rn whrrlwrnds. Managrng to av0rd gloopy sentrmentalrty (Just about) P/easantvr/le rs an rmpresSrve enough drrectorral debut from Gary Ross (Entertarnment) (BD)

Hideous Kinky

(15) 95 mins

AuthentrCrty rs one of the key words of prarse for the MacKrnnon Brothers’ adaptatron Of Esther Freud's novel. Kate Wrnslet plays the young mother who does a runner from hubby back rn 1972, takrng her two yOung daughters to Morocco for a new lrfe. Chaotrc

towns and sun-bleached cOuntrysrde make yOu feel as rf you're there wrth a backpack. And Bella era and Carrre Mullan are superb as the krds who

seern far more mature than therr lovrng, but confused mother rMetrodomer rMFr


(18) 104 mins 2 ~' »

The French have proved themselves tO be pretty adept at the slrck urban thrrller and whrle Dobermann rs of that rlk, rt’s Just too flashy, repetrtrve and, frankly, rrrrtatrng for rts own good A stock set of oddballs < rncludrng a crazed deaf gypsy fernme fatale, a mad cross-dresser and an rnsane preacherman v go on a bank-robbrng spree wrth some very rmpressrve frrepower But the gang and therr leader (Vrncent Cassel as Dobermann) eventually meet therr match rn a psychocop extraordrnarre The frlm rs ultrmately let down by blowmg rtself up and out too early Also avarlable to buy at £15 99 rTartan VrdeOl rBDr

Patch Adams (12) 121 mins

No one tugs away at frlm-goers’ heart- strrngs gurte lrke Robrn erlrams. Whrle Patch Adams rs not the monstrous calamrty rt was deemed on rts release, rt's strll a largely nauseOus and utterly predrctable star vehrcle Hrs latest maverrck creatron rs a doctor who belreves that treatrng the patrent rs as rmportant as the drsease. Thrs unsurprrsrngly brrngs hrrn rnto conflrct wrth the authorrtres who attempt to undermrne hrs good work. Srckenrng (Unrver‘sall (BDI


Cathy Come Home

(PG) 77 mins

In 1966, a made-for-TV movre lrke Cathy Come Home could really change the natron. lts docu-drama treatment of poverty and homelessness slapped vrewers ab0ut the face and helped krckstart the charrty Shelter. Almost unrguely, rts ernotronal rrnpact hasn’t decreased over the years due to the desperate optrmrsm of the lead characters and the restless, realrstrc camera style used by drrector Ken Loach. Avarlable for the frrst trme on Vrdeo, thrs marks the frrst of a serres of

Slave to love: Oprah Winfrey cries freedom in Beloved (Buena Vista, 15, 164 mins,

tit). Available to rent from Mon 13 Sep

RENTAL Orphans (18) 98 mins --

reviews VIDEOS

"DEWHHI {)ypiyanc

Funerals have never been much of a comedic source in film. So, when you

see Gary Lewis single-handedly shouldering the weight of his mother's coffin in Orphans, you won’t be complaining about having seen it all done better before. Originality never equalled quality, of course, but fortunately, Peter My Name Is Joe Mullan's directorial debut has more than its fair share

of both.

The death of Mrs Flynn leaves her four children in varying states of despair which manifests itself over the course of 24 hours in raw grief, violence, duty and vengeance. Lewis, Stephen McCole, Douglas Henshall and Rosemarie Stevenson play the four ’orphans' in a film which has its focus firmly on the kind of gritty realism you would expect from Mullan but has the confidence to dart into stranger terrains where surrealism has little fear to tread the coffin-carrying, l-lenshall's little trip by the sea and the storm raging around the chapel, in particular, may leave you giggling or gagging.

The storm itself may be laying on the symbolism a bit too heavy but the force registered by some fine acting and surehanded directing more than make up for any literal shortcomings. In particular, Orphans is another notch in the burgeoning careers of l-lenshall and Lewis. (Brian Donaldson)

'1 Avar'lab/e to rent on Fox Pathe from Mon 73 Sep.

early Loach frlms to be released soon. (Red Prctures/Fox World Crnema £12.99) (AM)

Dr Strangelove

(PG) 91 mins - r ~

Whatever the merrts of Kubrrck’s swansong, he wrll be remembered for creatrng some of the century's most endurrng crnematrc; moments Arguments wrll always rage as to hrs brggest hrt but Dr Strange/ove has to be up there. It rs also one of Peter Sellers' frnest feats as he plays three separate characters ~- the RAF captarn, US Presrdent and eponymous nuclear SCrentrst all of whom are rn varyrng degrees of lunacy. It's a mad, bad paranOrd world whrch Stan parnts as the superpowers go head to head. It's also very funny and wrldly thrsted. lColumbra Trrstar £12.99) lBDl

The Ring

(U) 109 mins

The centenary celebratrons for The Master Of Suspense contrnue wrth thrs T927 srlent frlm, The Ring, lrke rts predecessor The Lodger, comes complete wrth a new musrc score, here composed by Nerl Brand. The rrng rn guestron rs of the boxrng varrety and the drama not suspense centres around rrvalry between two prrzefrghters, 'One Round' Jack Sander and Bob Corby, for both the champronshrp and the grrl, Hrtch hrmself endorsed The ang, namrng rt the secOnd real ’Hrtchcock prcture’. (BFI £15.99) (MF)

The Bat Whispers

(U) 85 mins * r! r.

In 1930, wrrter-drrector Roland West remade hrs now lost srlent movre The

Bat as over-the-top melodramatrc mystery The Bat Whispers Set rn a spooky old house durrng a thunderstorm, the frlm’s stage credentrals are as creaky as the floorboards, but West drps rnto a bag of crnematrc trrcks rncludrng early 65mm wrdescreen to make thrs more flurd and entertarnrng than rts peers. Thrs restored verSron rsn't Just of rnterest to frlm hrstorrans and fans of Scooby Doo plots, rt's a good hokey thrrller rn Itself. (BFI £12.99) (AM)

Street Angels

(18) 95 mins t *

Never Judge a vrdeo by rts cover. ’Sexy and dangerous’ rs emblazoned above an rmage whrch promrses nothrng but acres of frlth and frenetrc vrolence. Street Ange/s has lrttle of erther as rt staggers rts merry old way to an antr- clrmax par excellence. Drrected by Hong Kong’s 'krng of actron and erotrcrsm', Brlly Tang, the ‘actron’ is set rn the dodgy bars and karaoke clubs of downtown Kowloon as Tung Yen (Chrngamy Yau) returns from enforced exrle to boost the local sleaze trade. And that she does, untrl dark forces from her past return to throw her plans rnto drsarray and send the vrewer off to sleep. (Hong Kong ClaSSICS £13.99) (BD)

CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE: Brran Donaldson, Mrles Fielder, Alan Morrison, Mark Robertson


1* * t r * Unmissable * t t t Very ood * t t Wort a shot i * Below average it You’ve been warned

9—23 Sep 1999 THE “ST 91